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The Decision Review System will be in focus when India take on England in the upcoming five-Test series and the home team’s vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane on Monday said the side has made some plans on how to approach the controversial technology.
“It’s a completely new concept. We have to wait and see about DRS. We have been discussing about this from the last series (against New Zealand) and we have (formulated) some plans. We will spend some (more) time explaining about DRS (to team members), how it works and how we should approach it, but the main focus is to play good, attacking cricket and DRS will come later on,” Rahane told reporters ahead of the series starting on Wednesday in Rajkot.
The DRS, which had been vehemently opposed by the BCCI in the past citing lack of accuracy, finally got its approval for the upcoming series on a trial basis. India had refused to play under DRS after getting the rough end of the system in Sri Lanka eight years ago.
“We are looking to play some good cricket. Right now we are focussed on building our strength and playing to our strengths,” said Rahane.
Rahane said the wicket-keeper and himself as a specialist slip fielder will need to give proper inputs to the captain to make optimum use of DRS.
“The wicketkeeper is very important (in the use of DRS) and as a slip fielder you have that role to convey the message to the captain and the bowler. We have to wait and see how it goes in the series.
“And as a batsman you are completely involved in the game. You have to see where the ball is going and convey it to your partner. You have to be sure (whether to ask for a review or not) all the time,” he said.
For the first time in over three decades, India would be involved in a five-Test rubber against any team and Rahane said the side has learned the importance of remaining fresh and eager till the end when they played against England and lost 1-3 in their previous on-field confrontation.
“In a five-match series it’s important to be fresh till the last Test. We played a five match series in England (in 2014) and got an idea about how to approach. That was a great learning experience as a young unit. It was important to remain fresh till the fifth match. You (also) get an opportunity to come back while playing a five-match series,” he explained.
Rahane, who averages over 51 with eight hundreds to boot after 29 Tests, said India would treat the new-look England attack – especially the spinners – with respect.
“Playing against England will be a challenge. They have a decent side; their bating line-up is pretty experienced. Their batsmen have been here – (captain) Alastair Cook, Joe Root and all. Yes their spinners are new. Their bowling attack is comparatively inexperienced, especially the spinners,” he said.
“But I always believe you have to give respect to all opponents whether their bowling attack is new or experienced. For us it’s important to focus on our strengths and we will be playing to our strengths and potential. I am sure it will be a good series.”
Rahane said India will play attacking cricket.
“We want to dominate the series. We have been playing some very good cricket over the last one and a half years. It’s important for us to be consistent. Yes our aim will be to dominate all their bowlers and the more we do it the better. It’s (also) important to start well in Rajkot and continue the momentum.”
“Virat is pretty aggressive as captain; MS Dhoni is cool and calm. I feel Virat learnt a lot from MS Dhoni, and he’s applying himself. He’s looking to be calm under pressure. He’s leading from the front for all of us.
“It’s been very good to play under Virat’s captaincy. He’s completely a team man, his inputs, his words during our team meetings and strategy are completely different. We are enjoying playing under Virat’s captaincy,” he added.
About his own new role as the team’s officially designated vice-captain in a home series, the 28-year-old batsman said the added responsibility will galvanise him to do better.
“I am really happy that BCCI gave me this responsibility. As a player you learn many things and as vice captain of a team the mind is always alert. I am learning new things as player and vice captain and I am happy BCCI and selectors have given me this opportunity. I think it will bring out the best in me,” he added.